The Lexus recipe for success: Hide the Toyota mass-market roots under the Lexus logo by filling a car with amenities and luxury trappings, a more supple ride, and a quiet, soothing cabin. Even a pro can't sniff out the Camry beneath an ES sedan. But with the new, compact NX, the souffle falls. The car doesn't coddle you like the wildly successful Lexus RX -- the midsized crossover vehicle that started the whole craze.
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Lexus NX Road Test

The Lexus recipe for success: Hide the Toyota mass-market roots under the Lexus logo by filling a car with amenities and luxury trappings, a more supple ride, and a quiet, soothing cabin. Even a pro can't sniff out the Camry beneath an ES sedan. But with the new, compact NX, the souffle falls. The car doesn't coddle you like the wildly successful Lexus RX -- the midsized crossover vehicle that started the whole craze. Nor does it thrill you with BMW-like handling. It just feels like an upmarket Toyota RAV4.

With a snout borrowed from a large-mouth bass and a body with more creases than a churro pastry, the NX is the most un-Lexus Lexus we've tested. From a brand that made its bones building vanilla-mobiles, the NX is a swing in the other direction.

But it's not convincing, and much of that has to do with its RAV4 underpinnings. Nothing against Toyota's super-popular small SUV, but luxury is not in its DNA.

Best Version to Get
While the NX 300h gets excellent fuel economy, it feels and sounds underpowered and gets rather expensive. The NX 300 might drink more fuel, but it is considerably more pleasing to drive. Either way, make sure you get the optional blind-spot detection system. Skipping navigation brings a simpler c...
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